Best-in-Class Businesses Lead in B2B Process Innovation
- December 31st, 2015
- By: Scott Robinson
As the new year gets underway, many businesses will be taking the step of increasing their capacity for effective B2B data exchange with other companies, boosting online visibility and implementing new and better processes for enhancing their business and customer relationships, in-house efficiency and analytics.
What process enhancements are most effective? In a pair of studies, the Aberdeen Group compared the state of B2B uptake in global industry across a period of almost three years. In the first, 191 supply chain executives surveyed revealed that only 14% of their businesses have achieved online trading collaboration with their partners, and only 12% had achieved online visibility into supply chain issues and disruption. In the second survey, the Aberdeen Group found that these numbers had more than doubled in just a few years.
This rapid increase in B2B process and technology proliferation has seen the emergence of clear excellence in implementation and partnership development. Aberdeen’s analysis of the best performers included a summary of innovations and practices common to the most successful B2B companies.
1. Sharing collaborative networks with customers. Building trading community networks with key customers results in more successful order management, inventory management and forecasting.
2. Sharing collaborative networks with suppliers. Networking directly with suppliers results in more effective procurement and in-bound logistics.
3. Breaking down trading partner base according to electronic ordering. A major drain on efficiency is offline processing of orders and invoices. Parsing trading partners by their ability to swap orders and invoices electronically enables focusing on those partnerships, and provides a platform for getting stragglers on board.
4. Improving supplier accountability. Two-thirds of Best-in-Class B2B companies have the ability to measure the performance of suppliers over time, resulting in higher visibility with respect to production capacity and delivery, as well as increased control over lead times, fill rates and reduced inventory.
5. Including non-critical participants in trading networks. Proactive on-boarding of less sophisticated customers and suppliers pays off in the end, resulting in less time spent on offline processing.
6. Outsourcing B2B trading management. For many companies, a smart strategy has been to hand off the management of B2B trading community networking to a third-party provider, freeing up in-house resources to focus on innovation.